Your body is like a baby. It doesn't speak Spanish, Dutch, Portuguese, Thai, Mandarin, Swahili, Turkish, or even the trade language of English! It speaks feelings.
For a long time, people have said: If you are thirsty, that means you are already dehydrated.
I couldn't agree more!
Our bodies don't send obvious signals when we really need water. They just kind of send an aching impulse that we often mistakenly label exhaustion, stiff joints, crankiness, even hunger because we don't know how to make sense of it clearly.
Maybe before you go lie down, have a snack, send that annoyed e-mail, put tiger balm on your sore shoulders, or take an aspirin for a headache, you can try a huge glass of water.
When I was a little girl, my mother stopped us before leaving the house and urged us to drink a big glass of water. When we got home, same thing. All the time, her mantra, "girls, drink some water."
(Fun and motivating fact: My mom, by everyone's assessment, looks at least 10 years younger than her age, and always has!)
Years later, I am well in touch with my subtle body through many practices. I participate in mindfulness activities and watch my moods, my thoughts, my energies rise and fall. I also practice yoga asanas daily and am acutely aware of my joints and flexibility.
One thing I know for sure is this: When I am dehydrated, all of the aforementioned states of my being are affected! All of them!
I could bring a lot of science in about drinking one of those airline cups full of water per hour while on the flight, or whether juice and tea count as liquid consumption, or the fact that you need at least eight eight-ounce glasses of pure water a day, minimum, to meet your needs, but these things are on Google and are pretty mainstream. These things are also in the mind.
I'm trying to get you in touch with your power and intuition--to take this part of your health into your hands because it's a huge help in all areas once you get in the habit of good hydration hygiene.
Here are a few tips to help you befriend good old fashioned water as a super drink:
1. If you are not thirsty but feel you might need more water in your life, put a bit of orange juice with it and drink more. Your body is used to the amount you give it, even if it isn't quite enough for optimal performance. You may not be thirsty, but, unless you are really on top of this already, you will likely experience a lot of benefit from drinking more water!
2. It's okay to pee a lot at first. When you up your consumption of water, your body, and kidneys take a bit of time to see that "oh, we are hydrating! yay! we don't have to retain so much water we can actually release it like normal!" Yes, folks, this is whats happening. It is so good to hydrate and clean out waste, wash those cells and tissues, and just keep your body engine well lubricated!
3. When traveling, drink a LOT of water when you wake up. Actually, every day, do this, but especially when traveling. You want to give your body time to soak it up and release waste and what it doesn't need before you step out and explore or participate in activities.
4. Do not be shy about asking to go to the bathroom. This is basic self care and boundaries. You have rights. The right to go to the bathroom is one. And if out in nature, you are already a fan of that lifestyle and know the drill there. Carry wipes. Dig a hole. Don't be shy. Let it out.
5. Anything in excess is of equal detriment. There are rare cases of people going overboard with this. It takes a lot to get there. Just don't. Personally, I drink about four liters a day, minimum, and anything less I feel off. I might need more if I am in Thailand or a tropical place where one sweats a lot and the heat just vaporizes the sweat off without one knowing they are losing fluids. This is key, monitor how you FEEL.